Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame names Anthony, Dart, Ghent and Vanatta to Class of 2018
VAIL — The votes have been cast and counted, and now the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame will begin preparations to welcome its Class of 2018. The four newly elected members will be formally inducted in October.
Heading the list of new Hall of Fame members is Vail ski film icon and youth outreach leader Chris Anthony. He will be joined by the late Bob Dart, former director of mountain maintenance for Winter Park and founder of the Winter Park Ski Education Foundation; former U.S. Ski Team coach and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail board member Brad Ghent; and Steamboat Springs’ Lonny Vanatta, the top American on the U.S. Pro Tour in the early 1980s.
These four new inductees will be joined by the 2018 Pioneer Hall of Fame selection, an appointment that will be made by the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame’s board of directors at a later date.
“We are extremely excited about our incoming Hall of Fame class,” said Susie Tjossem, executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. “We have all aspects of snowsports represented, with athletes, sport builders and inspirational inductees.”
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 will be officially enshrined in mid-October during the organization’s annual Induction Gala.
The four Hall of Fame inductees were elected from a field of 15 nominees that also included Johnny Buxman (Vail), Tracey and Tim Canaday (Denver), Bruce Cranmer (Winter Park), Eugene Dayton (Breckenridge) Jeff Gorsuch (Aspen), Rik Heid (Vail), Jake Hoeschler (Winter Park), Bob Kunkel (Durango), Moe Mosley (Golden), Ellen Post Foster (Vail) and Scott Rawles (Breckenridge)
Hall of Fame candidates are nominated under the established criteria of Athlete, Sport Builder, Inspirational or Pioneer categories, with the Hall of Fame Nomination Committee evaluating and confirming the nominees to move on to the final ballot. The 140-member Hall of Fame Voting Panel is composed of current Hall of Fame members, key ski-industry representatives and the Hall’s board of directors.
• Chris Anthony: For more than 27 years, Colorado native Anthony has traveled as a member of the Warren Miller film team as both an athlete and host of the nationally acclaimed film tour. During his career, he has free-lanced for several publications, co-authored a guidebook, commissioned and written a screenplay and hosted and produced several television and film projects.
Anthony has also volunteered thousands of hours for a number of charitable organizations and, along the way, raised more than a million dollars on their behalf, prior to building his own youth outreach project.
In 1998, Colorado Ski Country named Anthony the spokesperson for their fifth- and sixth-grade Passport Program. The program served as a platform for him to design his own school-mentoring curriculum, now operating under the Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project. Anthony has engaged more than 70,000 students over 19 years through school programs.
• Bob Dart: Dart was a member of the Winter Park family for 37 years before his untimely passing in November 2015. During that time, he was hugely influential, not only in the growth of Winter Park Resort, but also in the sports of skiing and snowboarding as a whole.
Hired as a snowmaker in 1977, Dart served in many different capacities, ultimately being promoted to the role of director of mountain maintenance, overseeing virtually every aspect of mountain operations. As competition director, he foresaw the growing popularity of freestyle skiing and snowboarding, establishing programs to assist athletes in these burgeoning sports.
Dart was also an untiring champion of growing sport through inclusion, establishing the Winter Park Ski Education Foundation, which has been helping young athletes compete through scholarships for the last 28 years. These accomplishments are complemented by his contributions to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association, for whom he became one of the most respected voices at the highest levels of ski racing.
• Brad Ghent: As a walk-on competitor on the University of Colorado ski team, Ghent helped the Buffs compile their string of eight consecutive national championship titles, earning honorable mention All-American status in 1974. Following his graduation, he transferred his talents to the administrative and coaching side of the sport, serving as director of the Elbert Series and head coach for the Winter Park Race Team.
That experience would translate to a development coaching offer from the U.S. Ski Team, a role that concluded in 1986 as head women’s alpine coach. His team won one gold and two bronze medals at the 1985 World Championships.
In 1991, Ghent took over the role of coordinating the Talon Crew, the group of course volunteers who help prepare the track for the Birds of Prey World Cup races. He also served on the board of trustees for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail during the organization’s rise to prominence. He earned his FIS Technical Delegates certification in 2001 and has officiated at countless competitions, from junior through World Cup and World Championships levels.
• Lonny Vanatta: Vanatta got his start in the Little Toots program at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs and then rose through the ranks to the U.S. Ski Team and reached the heights of glory on the World Pro Ski Tour in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Something about the dual format of the pro series ignited Vanatta’s competitive nature. He quickly emerged as the top American on the tour, which featured purses in the five-figure range and more television exposure in those days than World Cup racing.
During a career that lasted from 1978 through 1984, Vanatta won 20 professional races. He was the top American pro for four years and captured the World Pro slalom title in 1981. His best overall ranking on the tour was third.
Heroes look like these guys: Bill “Sarge” Brown, Bob Parker, Pete Seibert, Sandy Treat, Dick Over, Hugh Evans and so many others from the 10th Mountain Division who helped win World War II and, while building the peace, also built the ski industry in the United States.